I've spent the last couple of hours going over some of Daniel's private journals concerning SG-1's most memorable off-world encounters and all I can say is 'wow!' I guess in a way those journals have made the stargate suddenly seem real to me, as have a couple of artifacts he keeps here --some of his wife's personal belongings and a few reminders of his time in Abydos-- and that in turn has given me a lot to think about. The truth is that up until now I had been focused mostly on the stargate as an abstract concept. I was fascinated by what it could do and by the possibilities it opened from an anthropological perspective but now that has changed and I'm having a hard time coping with some of those changes. What I've seen here in Daniel's place has forced me to acknowledge the dark side of that promise and that --to be honest-- is really creeping me out.
The fact is that Daniel's wife was taken by a Goa'uld, she was turned into one of them and made a prisoner in her own body until one of Daniel's friends was forced to kill her to save his life. I never met her --and I obviously never will-- but her story has made me realize that when we walk through that stargate it won't just be an opportunity to meet new people, to explore other worlds. Whenever we walk through that stargate we will also be stepping into a war zone and that I'm more than a little wary of.
Yes, I knew from the very beginning that the SGC was a military operation but up until now the military part of that description hadn't really sinked in... of course, up until we arrived here in Daniel's place I was having more than a little trouble when it came to trying to come to terms with any of this so that is hardly surprising.
I guess in a way the anthropologist in me couldn't quite accept the fact that any of this was real, at least not until he was presented with some solid, tangible evidence, until he was presented with some sort of proof he could actually analyze. What can I say, I may have spent most of my life chasing myths and sentinels but that is nothing compared to how unbelievable this whole thing still sounds.
The thing is that in the few hours since our arrival I've been hit and hit hard by the realization that this is really real and I admit that that is making me more than a little nervous... not to mention that it is also making me wonder if I can really handle something of this magnitude. I used to think that the stakes were high on some of our high-profile cases back in Cascade but now I realize just how trivial all of that really was. Yes, our job was far from meaningless --it made people feel safe and we may have prevented hundreds of crimes by getting some pretty nasty perps off the streets-- but that is nothing compared to what we will be doing here... of course, that's not the only difference.
Unlike our job in Cascade, our work here will be all but invisible and --if we are successful-- no one will ever hear about it. Unlike what was the case in Cascade we will no longer have to worry about the press or anything like that... and yet if we were to fail the consequences would be far more devastating than any serial killer's rampage. There are literally six billion lives on the line here and that is a sobering thought.
Of course, in addition to that there's also the fact that we are going to be working in an entirely new environment and that is something I can't afford to overlook. In fact in that regard I was very grateful when Daniel invited us to stay with him until we could find a place of our own and I was incredibly relieved when Jim actually agreed. I know it sounds strange but the truth is that even though I'm itching to see the stargate I didn't want us to have to report to the mountain as soon as we arrived in Colorado Springs. Yes, we will have to go there tomorrow --and I'm really looking forward to it-- but at least this way we will get a chance to rest first and that may well end up making all the difference in the world. I know Jim doesn't like change but in this case there is more than that going on.
Daniel's place is pretty sentinel-friendly --and I know that even if I were to make some strange request Daniel would understand-- but I don't know what to expect out of the base and that worries me. What I do know is that a military base is unlikely to be an environment in which I will be allowed to make whatever changes I deem necessary to make it a comfortable environment for a sentinel and that is something Jim and I are just going to have to deal with. When we go to that base my sentinel will be confronted with what may well be hundreds of new stimuli and --even though now Jim is in full control of his senses-- mastering such an environment is still likely to be a major undertaking.
Let's face it, we are going to be working under a mountain so --even if they were willing to go out of their way to accommodate Jim's special needs-- it's not like asking them to do something as simple as open a window is going to be a viable option.